The biggest complaint journalists have about PIOs is that they don’t respond to calls promptly or at all. It’s common and bad enough that PIOs who do respond have a significant competitive advantage when it comes to news placement of their staff and research.
We are all swamped in our jobs but relationship management is about the most important thing we can be doing so it is worth prioritizing calls back to journalists. In many cases, it will only take two minutes to get them what they need and a two minute job is one worth doing immediately and getting it out of the way.
I recommend that you leave on your voicemail at your office number a message that says journalists should call you on your cell phone and give the number. I have found that other people don’t abuse that number and call at inconvenient times and many times a journalists can wait until you get to your office messages. But when a deadline is imminent, they need to catch you right away and you need to be available.
Don’t build a reputation for responding slowly or not at all. If you do, you’ll stop getting those calls.